I was interviewed by Seshu from Tiffinbox, which is a blog aimed at inspiring photographers. We talked about his experience at one of my most recent workshops in New Jersey and what that gave him, and it inspired me to write this article.
What if we had conversations with our clients that allow them fall in love again?
What if we flipped what we do?
What if we had the conversations with them that allow them to rediscover each other again, and go out of their way for each other again, and write notes for each other again… just be thoughtful again on the lead up to the shoot, so that every time they look at that photograph or that piece of artwork that we’re creating for them, that’s what they hear, that’s what they see, that’s what they feel – rather than dragging their husbands to a photoshoot.
So lets talk about the process that allows clients to rekindle their relationship before you even take a photo.
You can be a photographer that takes pretty pictures, but unless the client resonates with them they are not going to mean very much.
Think of it from the perspective of a commercial photographer. If you have Prada come to you saying they have a $20k budget you don’t just rock up saying “I got this”, you make sure you get the brief. You have to do your research. You talk to the art director and study what the client wants. You need to know who is the target audience is, you need to know the message they want communicated, what ‘voice’ do they want to speak with, what does this have to say to people.
As wedding photographers and portrait photographers, who let us off the hook? Why is ok for us not to do the research, not to understand the message, not to understand who that person is and not to understand who the audience is. So are they really doing it just for themselves, or for someone else? Who is this photograph really for?
What is the substance of this person? What does he see in her? How does he see their relationship? How does she see him? How does she see their relationship? Only once we Discover this can we pick up a camera to photograph them with any meaning, because then we are photographing a person with a soul, with a heartbeat, with connection. If we turn up and throw on our favorite lens, and focus on our favorite camera settings because we rock at this and can handle anything, that’s got nothing to do with the client and who they are which is the valuable part for them.
It may be an epic photo, but if it doesn’t have that soul of the people in it it is not guaranteed that they will fall in love with it or want to buy it.
In a previous blog post we talked about the 5 steps you need to follow to embed more meaning into your photography so that your clients place a higher value on what you do. The 5 steps are:
Build strong emotions
Ask specifically designed questions that get your client to visualize a time when they felt a strong positive emotion that was important to them.
Use scene setting techniques
These get them to visualize and describe important details of that moment and allows them to discover a deeper level of connection to what that moment means to them. (Your photographs will evolve from here naturally).
Let them do the heavy lifting
They tell you what is important for you to focus on when you ask the right open ended questions.
Use active listening to inspire the next question
You will never need a script to have a conversation if you do this.
Use The Stop Rewind Sequence™
This allows you to bring them back to important moments you hear as they are sharing with you that you want to explore more. This is a powerful technique to refocus them onto the meaningful stuff you want to photograph and allows you to connect those strong emotions from step 1 into that experience.
Have a listen to my interview with Seshu where we talk more about this along with other topics to help you make a difference to your client’s experience, and your business as a result.
If you want to read the article Seshu wrote on his blog, check it out here…